Job market continues to show strength
despite slight increase in unemployment rate
NWREporter, October 2013
Washington has enjoyed 10 straight months of job growth, according to the state's Employment Security Department. Its latest report shows a gain of 8,000 jobs in July, but also a slight increase in the unemployment rate.
The state has averaged about 6,000 jobs a month for the past 10 months. Its seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was an estimated 6.9 percent, rising from 6.8 percent rates reported for May and June. Economists also revised June's estimated job growth to 10,700, up from the original estimate of 9,800.
So far, Washington has regained about 83 percent (171,500) of the 205,000 jobs it lost during the recession.
Industries with job gains in July were education and health services, professional and business services; leisure and hospitality; manufacturing; retail trade; transportation, warehousing and utilities; financial activities, and information services.
Industries that reported job losses included wholesale trade; government; construction, and other services.
In July, an estimated 239,600 people (seasonally adjusted) in Washington were unemployed and looking for work. That includes 108,214 who claimed unemployment benefits last month.
"The unemployment rate has been pretty flat for the past three months, but we're continuing to see the kind of solid job growth that will gradually bring down the unemployment rate," said Paul Turek, a labor economist for Employment Security.